Dr. Gordon Freeman is a fictional character and the main protagonist of the Half-Life video game series. As a theoretical physicist, he finds himself thrust into a battle for survival against both alien and human forces. Throughout the series, Gordon must face hostile situations, often against overwhelming odds and with no backup. As a means of immersing the player in the role, Gordon never speaks, and there are no cutscenes or mission briefings—all action is viewed through Gordon's eyes, with the player retaining control of Gordon's actions at nearly all times. The images of Gordon are only seen on the game's cover and menu pages, and also in advertisements, making them marketing tools rather than pictures of what Gordon is "really like". Gabe Newell has stated that Valve sees no reason to give Gordon a voice.
Gordon is introduced in the first Half-Life as a theoretical physicist working at the fictional Black Mesa Research Facility. There, he is involved in an experiment that accidentally opens an interdimensional portal, releasing confused, hostile beings into the complex. As Gordon, the player fights through the facility alongside fellow employees, engaging the aliens as well as a black-op military unit sent in to contain the situation and silence any surviving witnesses. In its sequel, Half-Life 2, Gordon is introduced to a dystopian world years after the Black Mesa incident, along with an interdimensional alien overlord force known as the Combine, which took advantage of the interdimensional portals and has established itself as the ruling force on Earth. Gordon then joins the underground Lambda Resistance, aiding them in their struggle against their oppressors.
A Seattle native, Gordon exhibited an early interest in theoretical physics, especially quantum mechanics and the theory of relativity. His childhood heroes were Albert Einstein, Stephen Hawking, and Richard Feynman. After observing a series of teleportation experiments conducted by the Institute for Experimental Physics at the University of Innsbruck, the transmission of matter became Gordon's obsession. Gordon has no known dependents. He graduated from MIT with a Ph.D. degree in Theoretical Physics. His doctoral thesis on the teleportation of matter through extremely dense elements was titled Observation of Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen Entanglement on Supraquantum Structures by Induction Through Nonlinear Transuranic Crystal of Extremely Long Wavelength (ELW) Pulse from Mode-Locked Source Array. Gordon's research into science eventually led him to accept a job offer by the Black Mesa Research Facility, and begin working on a top-secret research project headed by his mentor at MIT, Dr. Isaac Kleiner. He takes up residence at Black Mesa, conducting nuclear and subatomic research in its Anomalous Materials department. Despite his education as a theoretical physicist, the work Freeman is involved with at Black Mesa is of a more experimental nature.
The games often make light of the fact that the tasks Gordon performs amount to little more than manual labor, despite his qualifications. Gordon's assigned job at the start of Half-Life consists of little more than pressing a button and pushing a cart. Barney Calhoun wryly notes this irony at the beginning of Half-Life 2, when Freeman performs similar "technical" assistance by flipping a switch and returning a plug to its socket.
Crowbars & headcrabs
Physicist at Black Mesa, The One Free Man, Freedom Fighter
Please accept my resignation. I have no interest in being a member of any club that would take me as a member.
Originally Posted by Meherrin
Lord of the Gifs
Who loves not women, wine and song, remains a fool his whole life long.